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  • Question from California

    I work in a company and have too much problem with my boss. I am under extreme pressure, and definetely need to find another job. I have 160 hours vacation time but if I ask, my boss will not give me all of them at once. I want to take my vacation at once that I can concentrate on my new job search. I am planning to ask my doctor to give me 4 weeks of a stress leave, equal to my vacation time. If my doctor accepts to give, can my company deny it? Thanks.

  • #2
    Are you FMLA eligible. Been working for the same employer for at least 1 year and worked at least 1250 hours in the past 12 months? Does your employer have at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of your work location? If you answer yes to all of these questions then NO the employer can't deny a request for leave under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA, of 1993. See here for law and complete information concerning FMLA.

    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/

    This is the federal version of FMLA. I "think" California has an even more employee friendly version of the FMLA. Without a doubt others will be along that know for sure and will be happy to point out whether I am correct or not.

    Good luck to you with the new job search. Very wise move on your part to leave rather than to continue to suffer unnecessary harm to your system at the current employer.
    Information posted by me is my "OPINION". I do NOT give legal advice to anyone as like most here I am NOT an attorney.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hanife

      Thanks for the reply. My answers to your questions are all yes, except the one. I don't know how to answer that one.

      When I was working in another company for three months, this company (from other state) purchased their products and offered job to certain individuals. I was one of them, and we were transferred to this company. I am working for 11 months if I consider this company only, and working 15 months if I consider both companies. It did not affect me because I was new for the previous company also, but they accepted the years of service of the other individuals when they were granting vacation and severance package (since eventually they are going to move) to them. When we were getting bonus and salary increase; they included our work for the previous company for one of them (I think for the bonus, not sure) but not for the other. Does this means I can not get leave? Thanks.
      Last edited by solin; 09-16-2007, 06:18 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by solin View Post
        Thanks for the reply. My answers to your questions are all yes, except the one. I don't know how to answer that one.

        When I was working in another company for three months, this company (from other state) purchased their products and offered job to certain individuals. I was one of them, and we were transferred to this company. I am working for 11 months if I consider this company only, and working 15 months if I consider both companies. It did not affect me because I was new for the previous company also, but they accepted the years of service of the other individuals when they were granting vacation and severance package (since eventually they are going to move) to them. When we were getting bonus and salary increase; they included our work for the previous company for one of them (I think for the bonus, not sure) but not for the other. Does this means I can not get leave? Thanks.
        If they bought out this company, I would think it would be like working for them for the year. Please wait for further answers, cbg, Pattymd, and others would surely know. Whoa, it sounds like they came to you and offered you a job taking you from the company that they purchased items from, so no, I would consider it a new job, not mixing the two. Once again wait for further answers. I must add that taking that much time off at one time could be a hardship, so it does not surprise me that they said no. Maybe you could ask for 4 different week vacations, and see how far apart they can offer them.
        Last edited by turbowray; 09-16-2007, 06:36 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          How the heck did you swing 4 weeks of vaction from a company you have been working with a max of 15 months?

          Anyway, these are two different jobs. Your benefits and seniority were grandfathered when you took the new job, but the clock for FMLA started over.

          Having said that, FMLA for stress leave is very difficult. Almost impossible. In fact, stress is not usually recognized as a medical event. All jobs have stress.

          Offer a plan to your boss. Week on and week off until your vacation is exhausted. Or, just quit... knowing that your vacation should be payable when you leave.
          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

          Comment


          • #6
            Solin

            Thanks for the answer. I seriously thought about quiting my job but what I am afraid of, if I can not get a new job fast, I will not be able to get unemployment benefits. I was thinking that may be getting a note from a doctor while I am working for stress might help me for the unemployment later.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by solin View Post
              Thanks for the answer. I seriously thought about quiting my job but what I am afraid of, if I can not get a new job fast, I will not be able to get unemployment benefits. I was thinking that may be getting a note from a doctor while I am working for stress might help me for the unemployment later.
              Nope, in order to recieve unemployment, you have to be willing and albe to work, and the docs note would say otherwise, not to mention it is almost impossible to get unemployment if you quit. Get a job first, then quit, that is your best option.

              Comment


              • #8
                Solin

                Looks like I am in 'no win' situation:-). I have one final question.

                When I was working in the previous company, they gave me a good moving package but since three months later transition occured I could not use it. The new company offered job temporarily with the option of relocating to their state at the end of October 2007. They provided moving package only for the relocation to their state. Now, we just know that they are not moving at the end of October, but no idea when they will move (I think they don't know either).

                So, I drive 80 miles in one direction for this job. In the best traffic days, it takes me 1.5 hour, with normal traffic 2 hours and if the accident happens, minimum 2.5 hour (all these values for one direction). Can I show this as a reason to quit my job to get unemployment benefits? Thanks.
                Last edited by solin; 09-16-2007, 09:29 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just for clarification, there is NO such thing as stress leave, if by that you mean a specific form of leave that is guaranteed and has specific parameters and definitions.

                  IF your employer is willing to assest to the fact that you have a medical condition that is stress related, and will sign paperwork to that effect, you MIGHT be eligible for leave under FMLA. But "stress leave" per se does not exist.
                  The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by solin View Post
                    Looks like I am in 'no win' situation:-). I have one final question.

                    When I was working in the previous company, they gave me a good moving package but since three months later transition occured I could not use it. The new company offered job temporarily with the option of relocating to their state at the end of October 2007. They provided moving package only for the relocation to their state. Now, we just know that they are not moving at the end of October, but no idea when they will move (I think they don't know either).

                    So, I drive 80 miles in one direction for this job. In the best traffic days, it takes me 1.5 hour, with normal traffic 2 hours and if the accident happens, minimum 2.5 hour (all these values for one direction). Can I show this as a reason to quit my job to get unemployment benefits? Thanks.

                    I am not sure but you could call up your unemployment office and ask if you can due to hardship.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      However, if you have been making this commute for 11 months, you will have a hard time.
                      Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                      I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                      Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Solin

                        Yes, I am commuting for 11 months. During my employment in the previous company I had tempory housing and meanwhile I was looking for a house to purchase. Basically, I was not commuting in that time. Then, everything had to change. And this company still is not offering me a moving package.
                        Last edited by solin; 09-16-2007, 02:53 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They don't have to offer you a relocation package and if you have been making the commute for 11 months, you'd be hard pressed to make a claim that it is neccesary. You might prefer to live closer (and I can certainly understand that) but that does not obligate the company to reimburse those expenses.

                          As cbg stated, you can only take advantage of FMLA if your doctor attests to the fact that you have a serious health condition which requires you to be off work for 4 weeks. Keep in mind that your employer can seek a second opinion from a doctor of their choosing if they have reason to doubt the validity of your doctor's certification. It isn't just a matter of finding a doctor who will write a note stating you need to be off work.
                          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OK Solin, so you have one more month before you would be eligible for FMLA leave. Any chance you can hang in there until you have the required year to request FMLA for up to 12 weeks? If your doctor certifies that you have a serious condition and that you need up to 12 weeks of FMLA it is likely you will be approved.

                            Your employer "might" ask for a second opinion but in reality few seldom do. Most doctors, as a professional courtesy, will not knowingly offer a different opinion than the original one did. If you are ask to go to a different doctor just be sure he/she knows that YOUR doctor has already certified the need to take the FMLA.

                            Is this stress due to your job or some other reason like the commute time? IF there is something happening on your job that is causing you undue stress then that needs addressed ASAP. You might also qualify for a stress/psychiatric injury through workers compensation or state STD. Although this type of work related "injury" is harder to get approved it can be and "sometimes" actually is approved through WC "IF" the stress is due to unnecessary or outrageous conduct of your employer or your co-workers.

                            Hang in there.
                            Information posted by me is my "OPINION". I do NOT give legal advice to anyone as like most here I am NOT an attorney.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A month may not be long enough to search for and secure a job. Perhaps spacing out the vacation would be a better alternative. Take a week off now to rest and dust off the old resume and start sending it out, but save the rest of your vacation for future interviews and mini-vacations to help you manage the stress. I've been there and sometimes just knowing that you are taking steps to move forward can help tremendously.

                              The last thing you want to happen is for a potential employer to call and do a verification of employment and hear that you are off on medical leave when you either told your potential employer you were on vacation or you told them you were ready, willing and able to work. It just starts you off on the wrong foot and makes them question your integrity from the get go.
                              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                              Comment

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